Archive for department: "Producers"

MGM strike deal with Sony for Bond 23 & Bond 24 – Fox to continue to distribute DVDs

In the last 48 hours Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer announced that they had secured deals with their two parters Sony Pictures Entertainment and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Sony will co-finance and theatrically market and distribute Bond 23. Fox keeps its hands on the back catalogue of DVDs, and MGM’s coveted archive.

“Twentieth Century Fox is a valued partner that has taken great care of the MGM library for many years with the highest degree of integrity,” said Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum, Co-Chairmen and Chief Executive Officers of MGM.

Sony will be staying on and distributing Bond 23 and Bond 24 – having had extensive experience and success with Quantum of Solace and Casino Royale.

The announcement of the agreement to distribute Bond 23 adds another high-profile title to Sony’s 2012 slate, which also includes Men in Black 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man, as well as I Hate You, Dad, starring Adam Sandler, Here Comes the Boom, starring Kevin James, 21 Jump Street, Resident Evil 5 and Total Recall.

The announcement comes as no surprise to those following the events of MGM’s bankruptcy and refinancing. Fox and Paramount, who were the only other contenders dropped out of the bid for Bond in February.

Fans are rightly excited by the news as Sony has a good reputation for well-marketed films with high levels of fan interaction.

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Sony eyes James Bond 23 and Bond 24

The studio that produced the previous two 007 adventures, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace along with MGM, Sony, is set to reprise this role for Bond 23 … and Bond 24 – making this a consecutive 4 Bond pictures in the hands of Sony Pictures.

The LA Times explains, as part of the arrangement under discussion, Sony would fund half of MGM’s next James Bond movie, which is planned for release Nov. 9, 2012, and 25% of a potential follow-up.

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Details on Sony’s bargain with MGM – Dragon Tattoo to be traded for 007

Deadline have more news on the impending Sony/MGM partnership: the film that will be used to inject funds into a reborn Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer is likely to be Daniel Craig’s other high-profile picture: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

The industry blog has learned that Sony Pictures bosses Amy Pascal and Michael Lynton agreed to give MGM a co-financing deal for the big title.

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Bond 23 on the verge of being distributed by old hands, Sony

Again Deadline have the scoop that 007 may be roaring back into life with a little help from its old friends at Sony Pictures. The production company was involved in the distribution of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace and was set to stand down – handing the reigns over to MGM – after the 22nd adventure.

But… what with the financial crisis the Big Cat has found itself in, MGM executives were on the prowl for a producing parter again.

It was rumoured earlier in the year that MGM’s new top brass were playing interested parties off against each other in order to get the best deal for MGM, long term.

Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum who are now the Co-Chairmen and CEOs of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer have convinced Sony to use the new James Bond movie as leverage on a number of other productions. Sony and MGM are currently negocitating the details of this joint venture.

Insiders at the major studios previously negotiating with MGM described Barber and Birnbaum as “enjoying” the process of dangling James Bond like a carrot in front of studios such as Fox or Paramount.

Deadline has learned that Pascal and Lynton have already found a title on the Sony slate for MGM to co-finance.

It is understood that hot contender Paramount has recently bowed out of negotiations.

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Movement in the MGM saga sparks hopes for Hobbit and James Bond fans

Variety are reporting today that MGM will have its pre-packaged bankruptcy plan approved by a federal court on December 2nd in Manhattan.

The great machine that is one of Hollywood’s oldest and most iconic studios will be restructured in order to clear debt and start producing films again.

For Bond fans this means that 007 will be on the agenda early, as James Bond 23 – along with the long-awaited Hobbit movie – will be big earners for MGM.

The deadline for creditor objections MGM’s proposed plan was Friday, none have been made. A meeting on Tuesday, ahead of the court date will confirm this.

Spyglass have been lined up to manage the restructured company after it capitalises its debt. The Hobbit will benefit from this first, with shooting expected in Feburary 2011 (Summer in New Zealand) but the producers of the 23rd James Bond film have been typically silent on their plans.

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MGM/Spyglass deal struck – Industry news debates who will distribute James Bond 23

The Big Cat has announced that a creditor vote has lead to the acceptance of the Spyglass plan. Under the scheme MGM will become a “working studio” and no longer a distributor of films.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. (‘MGM’) today announced that the secured lenders voting in the Company’s solicitation process have overwhelmingly approved its proposed plan of reorganization (‘Plan’). MGM will now move expeditiously to implement that Plan, which will dramatically reduce its debt load and put the Company in a strong position to execute its business strategy. MGM is appreciative of the lenders’ support.

This leaves sources such as industry blog Deadline debating who will become the distributor of the new James Bond movie.

Sony Pictures did so for Daniel Craig’s previous two James Bond outings – Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace – but Mike Fleming at Deadline suggests they will not retain the honor for James Bond 23.

Warner brothers and Fox are also in contention but Fleming (no relation to James Bond’s creator as far as we can tell) predicts the honor will go to Paramount because of a “close relationship” between Paramount and Spyglass.

Once the restructuring process commences there is real hope on the horizon for 007.

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Lionsgate make a last-ditch effort to parter with a bankrupt MGM

According to the James Bond website the Lionsgate studios made a public plea to James Bond’s studio to consider working with Lionsgate over Spyglass.

Lionsgate, the leading next generation studio, today emphasized the value creation potential of its proposed merger combination with Metro−Goldwyn−Mayer Studios Inc. The Company filed an Amendment to Schedule 14D-9 with the Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday disclosing that it sent an October 11 proposal to MGM regarding a potential business combination between the two companies. Under the terms of the proposal, the combined company would be owned by shareholders of Lionsgate and creditors of MGM.

“This is a unique, once in a lifetime opportunity to create a dynamic, forward-looking studio that unlocks tremendous potential value for Lionsgate’s shareholders and MGM’s various stakeholders,” said Lionsgate Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jon Feltheimer and Vice Chairman Michael Burns. “A Lionsgate merger with MGM is a natural fit that would bring together two of the most powerful libraries in the world, create significant cost savings, consolidate our mutual global channel operations and generate significant incremental revenue and cash flow. It would create a combined entity with enough scale to leverage all of our distribution platforms worldwide.”

Lionsgate noted that it believes that its three largest shareholders, Carl Icahn, MHR Fund Management and Capital Research Global Investors, support the merger proposal.

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Hope in sight for Bond 23: Spyglass bosses keen to get their hands on 007

Spyglass Entertainment have showing lone interest in Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM), the studio that have a financial interest in James Bond 23.

Recently reports have surfaced about studio executives Gary Barber and Roger Birnbaum signing a non-binding letter of intent to take over the running of MGM. The big cat’s resources would be in the hands of the new studio and another distributor may be brought in to distribute future MGM/Spyglass features.

“MGM would need a large cash infusion to fund production of new movies including a planned James Bond sequel and two films based on The Hobbit to be co-financed with Warner Bros,” predicted The LA Times.

Despite the much needed, but yet un-sourced, cash injection that it would take to get James Bond 007 back on his feet, it is undeniably good news for James Bond fans. The 007 franchise, along with the Pink Panther and Hobbit properties must be one of the biggest attraction for the Spyglass executives.

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Summit Entertainment loses interest in MGM deal, Spyglass the only party left

As James Bond fans the world over will be aware, the production team of the upcoming James Bond film, Bond 23, is patiently awaiting the resolution of MGM’s bailout or bankruptcy.

Recently, Deadline reported that Summit Entertainment has ‘walked away’ from any involvement.

“Summit is pulling out because the process has gone on way too long and it’s become a distraction for the business,” a source told the film industry blog.

MGM still have a ray of hope in Spyglass – the sole interested party. If MGM get their way, Spyglass would take over the marketing and distribution of all MGM’s projects, leaving the big cat able to produce films for distribution by Spyglass.

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Creative differences to delay James Bond 23 further?

By now Bond fans will be familiar with the hiatus on Bond 23, largely due to the MGM financial position. However, in this article by Steven Zeitchik, of the Los Angeles Times, it seems it might be more than money preventing Bond from moving forward… agreement on a shooting script might also threaten a swift recommencement of production.

The LA times published the following:

The secrecy valued by EON scares off most public comment on the film’s status, but sources familiar with the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity say that creative discussions among the writers and producers have also hampered the process.

Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes worked on the script last spring, the sources said, polishing the contributions of Frost/Nixon screenwriter Peter Morgan. Morgan, in turn, had rewritten parts of an earlier screenplay by Bond veterans Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.

EON has typically developed a script to a point of their satisfaction before sending it to the studio that will finance and distribute the given film (a pairing of MGM and Sony Pictures for the past two films). That has yet to happen with the new Bond, which is to be financed and distributed by MGM.

The creative issues around the new Bond are notable because it means that even if MGM’s financial wrinkles were ironed out — in the form of a potential Time Warner acquisition of MGM, a corporate link-up with Spyglass or Summit Entertainment or, perhaps, the arrival of a white-knight outside financier for Bond — it would mean the movie would still not be ready to go. And by the time it was, it could run into actor scheduling issues, extending an already long layoff.

The exact script issues on the new Bond remain shrouded in mystery, but the difficulties aren’t entirely surprising given the abundance of top creators and a franchise with ever-more complex mythology. Moreover, the new Bond film has always been framed as the third in the trilogy that began with “Casino Royale.” And with the need to wrap up many dangling plot lines — in this case, Bond’s quest for resolution after the death of romantic interest Vesper Lynd, among others — the third movie in a trilogy is typically hardest to lock down.

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